Wednesday, April 26, 2006

So it's Come to This

From PoliticalWire:

"Katherine DeBrecht, who wrote Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed, is now coming out with a series of conservative books for parents to read to their children. Her next book will take on Hollywood vices, including the pursuit of fame. The idea is to return to family values."

Because I'm evidently the sort of person who can't drive past a car crash without slowing down to look, I clicked through and read the first few pages of the 160 or so user reviews on If you want to do the same, here's the link.

As anyone who's ever read this blog before surely gets, I don't claim to come to this debate unbiased. But the parallel the author and publisher tries to set up--that "Help! Mom!" is only a balancing corrective to what they view as "overtly liberal children's books advocating everything from gay marriage to marijuana use"--is a false one. Those books make their case by connecting positions to core values: you don't judge or define people by their sexuality any more than by their race or religion, but rather by their behavior. And unless I'm very wrong about this, those books (which I haven't read) don't take the approach of demonizing people who oppose gay marriage or drug legalization or whatever. "The Lorax," Dr. Seuss's classic environmentalist allegory, doesn't equate those who recklessly use up natural resources with monsters. (Seuss generally wasn't very big on totemic terror figures in his children's books.)

This one, by the description, really does. All the classic Paranoid Style tropes seem to be present, in more easily digestible form. Maybe today's seven year-old Katharine DeBrecht reader is tomorrow's Ann Coulter follower; maybe when Coulter just comes out and says that liberals should be rounded up and shot, it's more palatable to the child who's already internalized that they're inhuman.

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